Owners offer historic Boyne Theater to city for restoration

The Boyne Theater in downtown Boyne City, originally built in 1903, may soon see restoration efforts and use again. Thursday, Brian Asher, owner of the building that houses the theater and an adjacent business, the Thirsty Goat, announced his desire to donate the theater to Boyne City's Main Street program so that it can be restored and used as an arts venue. The theater and restaurant are located in an area of Boyne City called the SoBo, or South Boyne, arts district. "As an arts district, having an open theater and performance venue would be a benefit to Boyne and the surrounding communities," said Asher. Boyne City Main Street will consider the offer and investigate the potential of the building, said Hugh Conklin, Main Street manager, after the announcement by Asher at the State of the Community luncheon at Sommerset Pointe Yacht Club Thursday. "This is an opportunity for us to restore a historic landmark and add vibrancy to our downtown," said Conklin, "It's a tremendous opportunity." Full story from the Petoskey News-Review.

The risks in searching for a job you will love

Confucius is attributed with saying
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

While I think the concept behind this sentence
is fantastic, I feel that there is a risk that it will be taken too broadly by
those entering the workforce. On hearing this quote and the many other
motivational statements that get thrown around like “follow your dreams” and
“find your passion” new employees may make the following mistakes:

Mistake Number 1: Unrealistically believing
that those who are passionate about their jobs love every aspect of them…all
the time.

While it may theoretically be possible for
someone to love every aspect of their job, I’ve never met anyone who does. Even
the most engaged business people dislike elements of their role and experience
periods when they don’t like their job at all. These employees tolerate these
moments however, because they know that the good aspects of their jobs, more
than compensate for the bad.

Mistake Number 2: Prematurely leaving a
role when initially given uninteresting tasks.

For those readers who are about to start
work with a new employer, please bear the following in mind: your new boss,
while going to a lot of effort to ensure that you have the right credentials,
the right experience and the right personality to fit in with the team, won’t
know for sure that s/he has made the right decision and can trust you, until
you start producing output.

Your new boss will quite likely give you
work that needs doing, but that won’t really matter if it gets done slowly or
poorly. This work is quite likely going
to be boring
. Please do these mundane tasks efficiently and to a very high
standard – in short, exceed your manager’s expectations. In doing so,
you will build the trust of your employer, who in all likelihood will give you progressively
more challenging and interesting tasks to undertake. As you continue to deliver
excellent results (building a great personal brand) you will be
given more freedom to choose the work that you want to do.

What I’m recommending in summary therefore, is this: don’t continually change roles, searching for that utopian job that you will love right from the beginning, every minute of every day. Instead, find a job that you believe you will enjoy (most of the time and once you’ve built the trust of your boss), that challenges you, teaches you useful skills for the future, fills a need in society and has a high probability that you will succeed in. Maybe then you’ll love your job, even if elements of it feel like work.

Charlevoix County is nation's first official "Connected Community"

Residents of Charlevoix County can take pride in knowing that they have become the first “Connected” certified community nationally under Connected Nation’s Connected community engagement program. The announcement was made August 22 at a broadband planning meeting held by the Charlevoix County Broadband Team at Boyne City High School. The Michigan Public Service Commission chairman, Connected Nation president, and dozens of community leaders were in attendance as results from the assessment and future plans for broadband expansion were unveiled. Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman John D. Quackenbush had the following to say about this important event:

“Charlevoix County can be proud to be the first community that has completed the broadband certification process offered by Connected Nation. Joining together, they determined that the benefits of broadband would make this community a more attractive one – a community with a better business environment for economic development, improved healthcare, enhanced education, and an efficient government.”

This certification comes after a months-long planning process involving more than 36 community stakeholders representing key economic sectors. A major step forward in closing this digital divide came when officials decided to enroll in the Connected community certification program through Connect Michigan.

The Charlevoix Action Plan includes projects to expand digital literacy, build awareness for the benefits of broadband, and assist businesses with websites and social media, as well as improving the online presence of local governments, among other entities. Connected certification affords a community an avenue to discuss its success and pursue opportunities as a recognized, technologically advanced community. More info.

New template for setting and tracking goals

I have created a free new template for setting and tracking five-year and annual goals, which you'll find on my new Tools & Templates Page.

Any suggestions on how to improve it are welcome.


Morel's Bistro: A wish come true for new Boyne City restaurant owner

New restaurant Morel's Bistro between Boyne City and Walloon Lake at 273 Old State Road, is the wish-fulfillment of executive chef and owner Brett Cuper. He worked for two decades as a pharmacist, but became dissatisfied with corporate life. What didn't change is his love for "Up North" life with its wintertime skiing and summertime attractions, he said. "We decided it was time to make a change," he said. Cuper knew the area well, as did his wife, Jennifer, and their sons, Alexander, 21, and Matt, 15. They were long-time vacationers here. "We just fell in love with Boyne City and decided to buy a house here," he said. Cuper earned a culinary degree at Ashworth College in Pennsylvania and the family moved from Ann Arbor to the Boyne Valley to realize his long-cherished dream of being a restaurateur. "I wanted to create a casual, fine-dining experience, so I designed my idea of an American bistro. We hope it will become a venue for anniversaries and birthdays, a place for family gatherings and celebrations, a place where people feel comfortable and will want to come back to. My love of cooking is my creative outlet." 
> Morel's Bistro will host the Boyne Area Chamber's Business After Hours networking event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18. The public is invited to attend. Admission and hors d'oeuvres are complimentary and there will be a cash bar. Full story from Petoskey News-Review.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it's good for your career

We have all heard the phrase "curiosity killed the cat", but in my experience, intellectual curiosity is great for your career... (and in case you're interested, Warren Buffett agrees with me).

The message from this blog post is simply that approaching business and perhaps life, with a desire to learn, will be good for your career. I personally, am aiming for "lifelong learning" so I encourage you to read on for supporting arguments and tips on how to achieve just that.


The costs associated with pursuing learning will vary with the approach you take. One likely cost however, is time:

- time away from your job and the activities that contribute towards this year's bonus, or

- personal time that could be spent with family, friends etc.

If you decide to undertake formal education there will also likely be a financial cost.

In considering the above, it might be worth noting that in spending time learning about your coworkers, you may discover an area of the business that can help you to achieve your business goals faster. 

Regarding use of personal time... if you love learning it may not actually be a "time cost" to learn something new.


The benefits of having and displaying curiosity are numerious. Here are just a few:

- improved relationships with coworkers

If you seek to understand what your coworkers do day-to-day, you will have a better understanding of the challenges that they face and will likely develop rapport with them.

- stimulated creativity 

Learning new material and having discussions with others can spark creativity. For further tips on Creativity, refer to my blog post on the topic

- ability to better assess and learn from feedback without being defensive

Listening to feedback with the goal of learning, natually reduces defensiveness

- knowledge you can build on as you progress in your career

What to be curious about:

If you've come to the conclusion that the benefits outweigh the costs, you may be wondering "What should I be curious about?" and the short answer is everything.

If that's too general, perhaps you might want treat it like a series of circles (with your day-job at the center). The following is purely a thought-provoker (not a comprehensive list):

> Learn everything you can about your role,

> Learn about the roles of your immediate coworkers.

> Learn about the company.

> Learn about the industry.

> Learn about the function.

> Learn about history of your company.

> Learn about the history of your industry.

> Learn about the history of your function.

> Learn about the future of your industry or where its likely to head.

> Learn about the future of your function or where its likely to head.

How and where to begin:

Start with an open mind and a desire to learn, then, if it fits with your personality, set yourself a goal.

After that, begin to:

Talk - with people, about the topics you're interested in learning about or are already learning about. It reinforces what you've learned and you'll gain another perspective.

Read - books, articles, blog posts, magazines etc.

Listen to - news reports, interviews, stories you've heard, advice that's given etc.

Watch/observe - videos, presentations, how other people act etc. and

Attend - industry events, classes, lectures, etc.

That's it for now; until next time... good luck and have fun!

10-plus businesses open in Boyne City this year

The Boyne City community is home to 10 new businesses so far this year. It’s an impressive list that promises to add to the vitality of our community. And there are really more than 10, because the Boyne Wellness Station includes 6 health practitioners within. The Chamber and Main Street congratulate them all and wish them all the best of luck:
  • Boyne Parasail, Joshua Grove and Mike Koteskey, One Water Street Marina, (231) 881-6000, www.boyneparasail.com 
  • Boyne Wellness Station, 112 S. Park St. - 6 natural health practitioners (News-Review story)
  • The Brook Retirement Community, Cindy Goddard, 701 Vogel Street, (231) 582-4300, www.brookretirement.com
  • JEMZ Consignment Shop, Liz Sivak, 500 N. Lake St., Suite F, (231) 582-2700
  • Meg McClorey Pottery, 211-1/2 S. Lake St., (248) 635-5851, www.megpots.com
  • Morel's Bistro, Bret Cuper, 273 Old State Road, (231) 582-1170, www.morelsbistro.com.
  • Northern Michigan Premier Properties, Ted and Pam Macksey, 44 N. Lake St., (231) 459-4404, www.northernmichiganpremierproperties.com
  • Precision Edge Surgical Products, Milt Kniss, 1448 Lexamar Dr., (231) 459-4304, www.precisionedge.com
  • Red Carpet Mobile Autowash and Detail, 231-459-5609
  • The Thirsty Goat, Brian Asher, 220 S. Lake St., (231) 268-4628

Build a broad skill base - pursue learning, never money

Here is a piece of advice that I received early in my career:

 "Build a broad base of skills and experience that you can rely on as you progress in your career. While it may be possible (easy?) to secure a more senior position...greater responsibility and expectations come with increased salary. If you one day find yourself in a role where you cannot meet expectations, it is near impossible to move...in any direction. Build that broad base, move up (only) when you are ready and the money will come."

I have considered this advice numerous times throughout my career. For example, when considering which role to pursue next, I try to identify a role at least one position further along my preferred career path. I then find a real role description for that role and see what skills and experience are required. That then gives me the criteria for the role that I am pursinging right now: Which of all the roles out there, am I confident that I can succeed in and will give me the most and best, skills and experience?

Note, I have a minimum salary that I would accept, but it is the minimum amount that my family can comfortably live on. I have almost never excluded a role on the basis of money. Please note, while I have typically worked in high paying industries, I have managed my/our budget very carefully,  which has increased my financial freedom. Perhaps, if you're interested, this could be a topic for a future blog post?

One final note on this topic, I would rather "hit it out of the park" in a more junior role, exceeding expectations, than just barely meet expectations in a more senior role. I love the career freedom this approach provides!